An offshore wind farm.

The Southern Ocean off Portland has been proposed by the State Government as Victoria’s second offshore wind declared area, as a 60-day public consultation process is to be undertaken before a decision is made by the Federal Government.

The Victorian Government has set targets for at least 2GW of offshore wind capacity by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040. The industry is expected to create over 6,000 jobs and generate billions in investment.

Offshore Wind Energy Victoria (OWEV) will continue to work with local Traditional Owners to discuss the potential zone and ensure future development of offshore wind in the area is undertaken in genuine partnership.

OWEV will assist the Portland community through the consultation process, making sure it is informed and has every opportunity to participate and influence the location of the final declared area.

The recently announced Victorian Transmission Investment Framework will ensure environmental, land-use, cultural and social factors are considered early in the process to inform locations for new transmission projects across the state, including new transmission that is needed to connect offshore wind farms to Victoria’s grid.

VicGrid is currently undertaking significant community consultation in Gippsland, Victoria’s first designated offshore wind energy zone, and that process will also be followed in the Portland region.

A declared area allows companies to apply for licences to explore the potential for establishing a project within its boundary. Any proposed projects will undergo rigorous Environmental Effects Statement processes.

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, welcomed the addition of a second offshore wind zone in Victoria and wants to ensure Portland and surrounding communities can harness the benefits of the State’s renewable energy transition.

“Victoria is blessed with rich renewable sources, including our windy coastlines, this will help us achieve our renewable energy target of 95 per cent by 2035.”

Member for Western Victoria, Jacinta Ermacora, said, “This is an exciting day for western Victoria as we undergo a once in a generation energy transition – and we’ll be making sure the local community continues to be at the heart of the process as consultation unfolds.”

To learn more about the consultation process, click here.

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